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Unformatted text preview: Aimee Hart Instructor Potra Soc. 101 2/26/12 Social Class Paper From the home, to the workplace, to the classroom, and almost everywhere you look you see class differences. Even if you’re an idealist the truth is that economic differences have a major impact on American society. The clothes you wear, the food you eat, the way you talk, eventually all make reference to the economic inequalities that exist in our society. Economic inequalities have affected Americans as the greatest form of stratification that has an impact on all aspects of life. In sociology, the term ‘social class’ is most often used to refer to the primary system of social stratification found in modern capitalist societies. Social stratification refers to ‘the presence [in society] of distinct social groups which are ranked one above the other in terms of factors such as prestige and wealth’ (Haralambos and Holborn 2004, p.1). Max Weber identified four separate classes in capitalist society; the propertied upper class, the property-less white-collar workers, the petty bourgeoisie and the manual working class. The upper class, which makes up about one percent of the U.S. population, generally consists of those with vast inherited wealth, sometimes called “old money”. The middle class, which includes about 34 percent of the population, are often referred to as the white-collar class, referring to the tendency of many middle-class men to wear suits with a white shirt to work. The working class makes up about 30 percent of the population. Its members may have gone to college, but more have had vocational or technical training. This category is also called the blue- collar class in recognition of the likelihood that many of these individuals wear uniforms to work...
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- Spring '07
- Sociology, economic inequalities